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Dili, April 18, 2022 – At the Timor Plaza on April 13, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and UNFPA, in collaboration with IOM, UNDP, and UN Women convened the national workshop “Strengthening capacity of health sector in Gender-based Violence (GBV) response in Timor-Leste: Integrating GBV services in institutional health system”.

The one-day event was organized through the support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the UN joint program dubbed Together for Equality: Preventing and Responding to Gender-based Violence (GBV) in Timor-Leste.

The workshop aimed to raise GBV awareness in the national health system of Timor-Leste, strengthen health sector’s response to GBV and solidify its commitment to a coordinated and collaborative approach in prevention and response efforts.

According to Timor-Leste Demographic and Health Survey 2016, almost 3 in 5 (59%) ever-partnered women aged 15-49 experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) in their lifetime while 2 in 3 (74%) women agree a husband is justified in beating their wives.

The Country Director of KOICA in Timor-Leste Ms. Eunju Cha, reiterated The Korean Government’s commitment to support the Timor-Leste Government towards the elimination of GBV.

Health facilities are often the first point of contact for the survivors after gender-based violence. Survivors may ask for your help but many times, they may try to hide the real cause of harm – out of fear of social stigma or fear of repercussions. Trained healthcare providers can notice signs and symptoms of GBV which can otherwise be missed by untrained ones,” said Ms. Eunju Cha.

Similarly, Ms. Lorna Rolls, UNFPA Representative a.i. in Timor-Leste emphasized the critical role of heath care system and health service providers often times as first responders to survivors of gender-based violence. She highlighted the elimination of gender-based violence and harmful practices is one of the three transformative results that UNFPA supports member states to achieve by 2030.

“UNFPA in collaboration with MoH has been working together to strengthen the capacity of the health sector in responding to GBV through the establishment of safe spaces in health facilities, training of health care workers with essential service provision, strengthening the coordination between referral system and community awareness as well,” added Ms. Lorna Rolls.

The Vice Minister of Health, His Excellency Mr. Bonifacio Mau Coli dos Reis observed that Timor-Leste cannot achieve sustainable development goals when discrimination

and violence against women and girls exist.

“To achieve the national strategic development plan and sustainable development goals, we need to take immediate action to solve and fight against discrimination and any form of violence against women and girls,” said Bonifacio Mau Coli dos Reis.

“This workshop is an opportunity to celebrate the successes achieved through strong collaboration, continuous learning to strengthen and intensify our cooperation and synergies in a coordinated, collaborative, effective and efficient way to prevent and respond to GBV in Timor-Leste.”


For more information contact:

Suleiman Okoth

Communications and Programme Support Specialist
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Timor-Leste

UN House, Caicoli Street
Dili, Timor-Leste

Mobile: +670 75169796
WhatsApp: +254 780534026